Smriti Mandhana stars as India beat Pakistan to register first win of CWG 2022 | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

BIRMINGHAM: India showcased their desired ‘killer attitude’ under pressure as they put up a ruthless performance to beat their Pakistani rivals by eight wickets and boost their chances of a semi-final place at the Games of the Commonwealth Sunday.
Pakistan’s decision to bat first backfired as Indian bowlers stifled batters to eliminate them for a measly 99 in the 18 overs-a-side contest after rain delayed the start of play .
Spinners Sneh Rana and Radha Yadav stood out with two wickets each.

The hunt was also clinical with Smriti Mandhana (63 steps from 42 balls), arguably the most attractive hitter in women’s cricket, displaying her range of strokes on the way to a fine unbeaten half-century. The result was that India took down the target in just 11.4 overs.
India have shown an approach they have tried to play with over the past couple of months and that would most certainly have pleased the captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Mandhana’s special effort included three sixes, including a release from spinner Tuba Hassan during his half-century. A seemingly effortless loft on Peacekeeper Diana Baig’s cover in round three was also of the highest quality.
It was the second time this year that an Indo-Pak contest failed to produce a close game, with India winning comfortably against their opponents, even at the 50-year-old World Cup in New Zealand.
However, the highly anticipated Commonwealth Games game lived up to the hype off the pitch with fans turning up in Edgbaston in droves.
Intermittent showers delayed the start of the game by 45 minutes, with the game reduced to 18 overs per team.
Compared to the first women’s cricket match between India and Australia, fans flocked to the 25,000 capacity stadium, although it didn’t seem like an outright sellout.
The city is home to a large Indian and Pakistani diaspora, but the former was more present in the stands with the Indian flags visible from all parts of the floor.
Punjabi star Diljit Dosanjh’s dance numbers added to the atmosphere and it felt like the match was being played in Mohali and not Birmingham.
Normally one would have to pay a fortune for an Indo-Pak cricket match, but the Sunday morning match offered a much cheaper alternative.
“I paid Β£20 for the ticket. For a men’s game I might not even get it for Β£200. It’s lucky to be here,” said Rajeev Chauhan, who resides in Coventry .
The Indian fans got their money’s worth in the first half of the game.
Renuka Singh, who cast a dream spell in a losing cause against Australia, started with a rare youngster in T20 format.
Three balls later, Pakistan were one goal with no points on the board as point guard Meghna Singh caused an outside edge on fly-half Iram Javed’s bat with a ball that went wide.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur opted for the extra all-rounder in the playing XI, bringing in Sneh Rana at the expense of spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Batter S Meghana, who joined the team late here after recovering from COVID, was included in place of Harleen Deol.
Rana had an instant impact knocking out Muneeba Ali (32) and Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof (17).
Muneeba played a few daring shots in his 30-ball effort, including a six with a laborious sweep from Meghna. Maroof perished trying to sweep while Muneeba was beaten by the flight and offered Rana a hold.
Renuka made it 64 for four in the 12th by getting rid of Ayesha Nadeem.
Even Indian flyhalf Shafali Verma rolled her arm and got a wicket from a clean return catch.
Pakistan tried but failed to free themselves from the shackles and ended up with a lower than normal total.

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